North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Small animal shelters hold adoption event

 

September 20, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Kalina Farrell pets a cat from Red Waggin' Rescue at a recent animal adoption and animal shelter event at Smokey Point on Sept. 16.

Several small animal shelters gathered on Sept. 16 in Smokey Point for an adoption event and to highlight uncommon animals that need to be adopted and lesser-known local shelters.

"This is basically an event for getting an understanding about the rescues," said Paul Lewis, who runs the Tulalip animal shelter Forgotten Kingdom and organized the adoption event.

"These are the smaller shelters. They're not like the NOAHs [the large Stanwood animal shelter]," said Lewis who said that animal shelters in the region get millions collectively in grants each year and those grants typically go to the large shelters. The shelters at the event we're the smaller ones. "They're basically the underdogs," he said.

Other shelters at the event included 2nd Chance Wildlife Care Center, All Breed Equine Rez-Q, Red Waggin' Rescue and Stacy's Funny Farm.

"I think it's a good opportunity for awareness and for people to find out about all the small rescues," said Yvonne Meredith, a supervisor at 2nd Chance Wildlife Care Center, which is located in the town of Snohomish.

"We've been going for 30-plus years and we're not super well known, but we're just out here to raise awareness and to try to help the animals," she said.

The event was held outside the Tractor Supply Co. in Smokey Point. Lewis had worked with them in the past.

"We do our adoptions at stores like this. I prefer to do them at stores that don't sell animals," he said. The store asked if he could run an adoption event and because Lewis knew of the other shelters he agreed to help, although he said he's never done an event like this before.

"It's going pretty well, there's been a lot of turnout. I'm actually surprised," he said.

Smaller shelters can provide for some different specific needs for animals, such as Lewis' shelter, Forgotten Kingdom, which will take in nearly any animal.

"I just looked at the other shelters and just saw cats and dogs and said 'well, what's happening to everyone else,'" he said.

His shelter is a house in Tulalip specifically retrofitted for animals now and he's accepted a variety of animals including chinchillas, snakes, tarantulas, turtles, pigs and goats.

"These animals are literally forgotten about. If I didn't do this people would just release them and dump them, and they still do," he said.

Lewis said he named his shelter "Forgotten Kingdom" because he didn't want those animals to be forgotten.

He said that his shelter is the only one in the state that accepts that wide variety of animals, and because of that he gets contacts from local government agencies who suddenly have an animal they don't know what to do with.

"When they get a pig or a goat running around, they bring them to us because we won't kill them," said Lewis.

Meredith said that the smaller shelters are a good experience for volunteers, who often get more direct interaction with the animals.

"They help people who have big hearts help the animals," she said.

Christopher Andersson

Paul Lewis, who runs the Forgotten Kingdom animal shelter in Tulalip, shows his opossum to visitors at a recent animal adoption and animal shelter event at Smokey Point on Sept. 16.

"You learn what they are and what they need and what their habitats need to be, and you just learn a lot more," she said.

For many volunteers it becomes a passion. "I went there to volunteer for two weeks and I'm still there. It's been 21 years now," said 2nd Chance Wildlife Care Center assistant director Sheila Price.

And many people at the shelters care a lot about the animals, said Meredith.

"When you see someone drive a bird from Cle Elum or Idaho, you know that person has probably got a pretty big heart," she said. She described working at a shelter as "heartache and a lot of love."

For more information on the local shelters that came out to Smokey Point you can visit their websites at http://www.facebook.com/theforgottenkingdom, http://www.facebook.com/2CWCC, allbreedhorserescue.com or stacysfunnyfarm.wordpress.com.

 

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